Top LDS Church events of 2013: Missionaries, temples and milestones

Published: Thursday, Dec. 26 2013 10:24 p.m. MST

Tom Smart, Deseret News

A dramatic surge in the missionary force, major church milestones and humanitarian aid efforts were among the noteworthy stories involving The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in 2013.

This past year, the church implemented new ways to share the gospel through technology, increased its digital outreach and responded to natural disasters around the world. It continued to adjust to overall growth, build temples and provide opportunities for its members to serve and improve lives.

Here is a look at the top stories making headlines in 2013.

Contributing: Joseph Walker, Trent Toone, Tad Walch, R. Scott Lloyd, Gerry Avant, Sarah Weaver, Jason Swensen, Jesse Hyde, Ryan Morgenegg, Rachel Sterzer, Abby Stevens, Christine Rappleye, Doug Robinson

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Bountiful, UT

The buzz in our ward/stake about the younger ages for missionaries is that it is not working as well as expected. Many emotional issues among them, even as early as the MTC experience. I have a number of friends who are mission presidents, and their feedback is less than favorable. Hopefully something can be done to mitigate this growing concern.

Mike in Sandy
Sandy, UT

You forgot 2 criminally implicated Attorneys General.
An indicted "Fixer" who handled their dirty deeds.
Intolerant County Clerks refusing to obey Federal mandates.
A Governor who is an awful example of authority.

Costa Rica, 00

To LivinLarge
I can't imagine one mission president giving negative feedback about 18 and 19 year old Elders and Sisters, let alone a number of mission presidents giving out negative feedback. Here in the mission field we are absolutely blessed to have these young Elders and Sisters. Of course they're young but they are amazing. We appreciate their strong spirits, hard work, and energy.

Costa Rica, 00

Mike in Sandy
You forgot that the article was about "Top LDS Church events" and not about individuals that may or not be guilty of misdeeds.

Provo, Utah

Thanks for the list. An interesting compilation of significant events of 2013 It shows the benefits of continuing revelation to prophets in the face of many kinds of tumoil and upheaval in the world.

S C Kerr
Bridge of Allan, Scotland

Another glorious highlight for all of us on this side of the pond was the first-ever British Pageant. Over 1000 members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the United Kingdom and Ireland worked together to put on the pageant and nearly 20,000 people attended over the 9 performances. It was a season of wonder. Elders Nelson, Ballard and Holland of the Twelve and Elder Rasband of the Presidency of the Seventy were our very special visitors. Days never to be forgotten...


@LivinLarge: Generally speaking, the phrase, "the buzz," when used in conjunction with words flying around wards and stakes, actually means gossip. I believe we've been instructed not to gossip. Additionally, if indeed the Mission Presidents that you know are reporting negative feedback to you about what is occurring in their mission fields, I would quantify that as more gossip. If the situation is that dire, why are they telling you and not their leaders? And, even if they are reporting to the proper authority within the Church, still, why are they talking to you about it? Again, this falls under gossip, and it is even more shameful that they should be perpetuating it, as you have done by spreading it here. If these young men and women are struggling as you say they are, the last thing they need to fear is that they can't trust their Mission Presidents with their doubts and decisions.

Lifelong Republican
Orem, UT

Living large you are wrong on this one. Nice try to bring down the LDS church though.

I'm sure some struggle, as they always have. However, my neighbor just got back a few months ago and when asked about this very topic said he had never seen a stronger bunch of young men and women than he is seeing right now. Said that was the consensus across the board.

Don't let one or two "stories" define your opinion about the whole program.

Provo, UT

The missionaries out in the mission field from my ward are all doing well. They are young and love their service! Missionary work is hard! Where in all the world do you find young men and women devoting two-years (young men) and eighteen months (young women) to serving their fellow human beings by sharing the Gospel through word and deed? Missionaries, young and old, are not perfect, but they are amazing!

Valley Center, KS

The key to this working is carefully vetting the young men and women to begin with. I was not ready at al at 19. My son on the other hand left on his 19th birthday. He is extremly mature and dedicated and has had a very successful mission. I am sure that a year away from home in college helped him a lot. If you are not sure your son or daughter is ready then don't set him/her up for failure. There is nothing better than reading inspiring letters from the mission field. I would think that it would be devistating to recieve letters that were negative. I support the church in the decision to lower the required age because I know that they are inspired in these matters. However, Give your son or daughter the best chance of success by making sure they are mature enough.

orem, UT


You are exactly right. There is a lot of pressure especially here in Utah for young men to leave at 18 now. While I think it's exciting for seminary teachers to celebrate those seniors who have their mission calls and friends invited to the opening up of calls we need to be careful not to make anyone feel less for waiting to go. It always has been and remains still a personal decision, but the social pressure in predominat LDS communities can be unhelpful to making the right decision for the individual family and prospective missionary.

Our son had a year of college (in a dorm where he had to shop and cook for himself) which matured him in ways that make me worry less about his ability to manage the stress and independence of a mission.

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